Ginger spirits are not necessarily at the top of a typical bar repertoire list. Nevertheless, you will come across recipes that call for them from time to time. Especially the King’s Ginger, produced by Berry Bros. & Rudd, has been the supposedly most common ginger-based liqueur for many years. Ultimately, however, there are not only liqueurs, but also ginger eau-de-vies or – in the broadest sense – ginger spirits, which all differ from each other. And today I would like to take a closer look at a very interesting ginger spirit from Scheibel, which is limited to 2000 bottles. (provided test product)*
According to European regulations, a liqueur must contain at least 100g of sugar per liter, Obstbrände (fruit eau-de-vies made from a mash of the actual fruit) may contain a maximum of 18g of sugar per liter, while Obstgeiste (fruit eau-de-vies made by distilling alcohol in which fruits have macerated) in turn may only contain 10g of sugar per liter. The term “spirit”, on the other hand, has a much broader definition here and can also be somewhere in between. So if we now have a ginger spirit in front of us, then we can assume that it was sweetened to a certain extent, that it lies within the range described above. So much for the theory. But of course, not only the sweetening of a distillate is decisive for its quality, but also the actual spirit or the raw material it is made of. And to shed some light on this, let’s take a closer look at the Scheibel Premium Plus Ingwer Royal (that’s its full name, Ingwer meaning ginger).
The Scheibel Premium Plus Ingwer Royal comes in a beautifully shaped bottle, which allows a view of the light yellow liquid inside through the milky glass. The manufacturer states that they deliberately chose ginger from the north of Thailand for its special aroma. Before it was distilled at the Scheibel distillery in Kappelrodeck in the Black Forest on their so called “Neue Zeit”-still (over gold, as Scheibel always likes to emphasize), the ginger was macerated in the base alcohol for a “long”, but not exactly named period of time. To what extent fruit juice, fruit extracts or the like were added after the distillation (which is to be assumed with regard to the color, since it could not have left the still this way), I cannot say exactly, due to lack of reliable information. However, the same procedure was applied to other Scheibel Premium Plus products.
Aroma: To my surprise, my first association is clearly an aromatic lemon (which also has notes of candied peel), followed by a spicy, rich ginger, which manifests itself with a perceptible pungency and henceforth sets the pace together with the lemon. Warm honey, associations of gentian, camomile flowers and a hint of fennel seed are also present.
Palate: On the palate, a spicy, only slightly hot ginger comes to the fore, but here, too, it quickly combines with lemon tones. The impression of candied peel is underlined by the light, fine sweetness of the spirit. Clearly sugar was added here, but not comparable in amount to a liqueur. Fennel associations also come to me with time, but especially forest honey. A round and beautiful ginger spirit.
Finish: spicy, fruity, medium length with a light but very interesting liaison of bitter citrus peel and sweetness.
Well, the Scheibel Premium Plus Ingwer Royal can certainly be used in many ways. As a substitute for recipes that call for other ginger liqueurs, it will almost certainly work. In order not to falsify its individual character, I didn’t want to combine it with citrus juice in a sour-style drink (admittedly, I’m more of a friend of “all-alcohol drinks” anyway). I finally decided to try two different drinks. On the one hand, the White Negroni was my inspiration. Here I slightly changed the gin base and replaced it with a part Scheibel Premium Plus Ingwer Royal and a part Reserved Gin (Citadelle). Dry vermouth and Suze are retained, however – and that’s my White Ginger Negroni.
Recipe “White Ginger Negroni”:
2,5 cl Reserved Gin
2 cl Scheibel Premium Plus Ingwer Royal
3 cl dry vermouth
1,5 cl Suze
Preparation: The drink is built in the glass. Put all ingredients on solid ice in the glass, stir, done.
However, on the other hand I finally went a completely different way and created a kind of old fashioned-style cocktail. The base was an esther-toned, aged rum (I used Plantation Isle of Fiji here), combined with Scheibel Premium Plus Ingwer Royal and some Calvados. Then everything is rounded off by a Dash of Lemon Bitters, a Dash Bogart’s Bitters, a bar spoon of Demerara syrup and a bar spoon of D.O.M. Benedictine. Sounds like too much fuss? Sorry, unfortunately it is absolutely delicious. I simply called the drink Gingergold.
4 cl matured “esthery” rum (e.g. Plantation Isle of Fiji)
2 cl Scheibel Premium Plus Ingwer Royal
1.5 cl Calvados VSOP
1 bar spoon D.O.M. Benedictine
1 bar spoon demerara syrup
1 Dash The Bitter Truth Lemon Bitters
1 Dash The Bitter Truth Bogart’s Bitters
Preparation: The drink is built in the glass. Simply pour all ingredients into a glass on solid ice, stir, done.
Garnish: lemon zest
Buying sources: At specialized trade or online
*The fact that this product has been sent to me free of charge for editorial purposes does not – in any way – imply any influence on the content of this article or my rating. On the contrary, it is always an indispensable condition for me to be able to review without any external influence.